3/2 Gurkhas in the Arakan.

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by bamboo43, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    That would be typical.

    I know from reading various books on the subject that Neill and many of the other Indian Army officers disliked Wingate immensly.

    This probably came from the mutual distrust and animosity held between Wingate and the HQ in Delhi.

    I must get back to the IWM, so many rivers to cross, so little time.:)
     
  2. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    That would be typical.

    I know from reading various books on the subject that Neill and many of the other Indian Army officers disliked Wingate immensly.

    This probably came from the mutual distrust and animosity held between Wingate and the HQ in Delhi. . . .

    Given Wingate's background and obvious mental instability, particularly the very unorthodox suicide attempt, I'm not surprised he was kept at arms length. I get the impression that Wingate was in fact an opportunist, the real brains behind the operations being Mike Calvert. Wingates contribution being his ability to 'sell' the idea and his connections with the top brass.

    My interest in the first operation was prompted by the discovery of a citation put forward by J.E.Stephenson for one of his troop for 'skill in navigating them back to the RV'. If, as Neill claims, training in these areas was negligable, then the way the citation is worded is very significant and a bit 'bold' for a junior officer!
    Neill does talk about a training exercise (Reel 1) commencing 8th December where thay had to march across country some 100 miles. As he pointed out, it was effectively in a straight line in flat (and friendly) country. Hardly a good test of navigation skills in hostile jungle but according to Neill Wingate was 'satisfied'.

    Let me know when you intend visiting the IWM, I only live around the corner so will drop by and buy you a cup of tea!
     
  3. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Wingate was one of few who talk bad about Gurkhas (well I don't know any other but I can't exclude possibility that there was someone else (enemy officer's aren't included)). I have filling (reading Chinnery's "March or Die") that this was also due Wingate's behave toward Southern Group, with two Gurkha column and which he considered as expendable. To me seems that he put lot of blame on them, which I found little harsh especially as CO of the group, Lt.Col. Alexander died during expedition and wasn't in position to defend his men. But I guess Steve know much more about this and I could be wrong.
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Given Wingate's background and obvious mental instability, particularly the very unorthodox suicide attempt, I'm not surprised he was kept at arms length. I get the impression that Wingate was in fact an opportunist, the real brains behind the operations being Mike Calvert. Wingates contribution being his ability to 'sell' the idea and his connections with the top brass.

    My interest in the first operation was prompted by the discovery of a citation put forward by J.E.Stephenson for one of his troop for 'skill in navigating them back to the RV'. If, as Neill claims, training in these areas was negligable, then the way the citation is worded is very significant and a bit 'bold' for a junior officer!
    Neill does talk about a training exercise (Reel 1) commencing 8th December where thay had to march across country some 100 miles. As he pointed out, it was effectively in a straight line in flat (and friendly) country. Hardly a good test of navigation skills in hostile jungle but according to Neill Wingate was 'satisfied'.

    Let me know when you intend visiting the IWM, I only live around the corner so will drop by and buy you a cup of tea!

    Will do, and I offer the same invitation to you re: National Archives. I normally go on Thursday afternoons and take advantage of the late closing time.:)
     
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Wingate was one of few who talk bad about Gurkhas (well I don't know any other but I can't exclude possibility that there was someone else (enemy officer's aren't included)). I have filling (reading Chinnery's "March or Die") that this was also due Wingate's behave toward Southern Group, with two Gurkha column and which he considered as expendable. To me seems that he put lot of blame on them, which I found little harsh especially as CO of the group, Lt.Col. Alexander died during expedition and wasn't in position to defend his men. But I guess Steve know much more about this and I could be wrong.


    From what I have read and also what I have been told first hand, there is no doubt that the Gurkha officers distrusted Wingate. He left them out to dry in Southern group and as you say criticized many of the leaders of Gurkha columns, Alexander, Conron and Emmett.

    The 3/2 Gurkhas were a very young group throughout their ranks, probably too young as much as the 13 King's were too old.

    The powers at Indian GHQ hated Wingate and put every obstacle they could in his way, this I believe gave way to his treatment of the Gurkhas in 1943.
    But that was no excuse for his blatant sacrificial use of the Southern section.

    All the veterans I have met from 1943 except for one, thought Wingate was mad!!!

    But sometimes these are the type of men that just make a difference and shift the balance of war.
     
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Gents,

    I am reading 'Fire in the Night', one of Wingate's biographies at the moment.

    Wonderfully, it has thrown up some new names for my 'Longcloth' listings. I have to be somewhat careful here, due to a significant number of incorrect spellings for many of the well known men from 1943. For example George Barrow, instead of Borrow and Dominic Menzies instead of Duncan Campbell!:rolleyes:

    Now for the question: on page 298 the author mentions how Alexander and column 1 have proceeded furthest south across the Irrawaddy by about late March 1943. It states that "Alexander and Ford with their Gurkhas of number one column, decided to turn around and head for home".

    In all my readings I have never heard mention of 'officer Ford'? Has anyone come across him in any of the histories or diaries, or maybe in medal citations. This one has me beat and of course intrigued.:)
     
  7. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    You think you are getting confused . . . . I think I'm going mad. Thought I'd troll throw the Kew catalogue to make a list for my visit and came across these two citations:


    • Online Document WO 373/7

      Recommendation for Award for Gurung Kharakbahadur Naik 7806 2/3 Gurkha Rifles Italy Military Medal 21 September 1944 . Recommendation for Award for Gurung Kharakbahadur Naik 7806 2/3 Gurkha Rifles Italy Military Medal 21 September 1944
      Date: 1944 Source: DocumentsOnline (images of documents from The National Archives)
    • Online Document WO 373/7

      Recommendation for Award for Rana Lalbahadur Jemadar 25053 I.O. 2/3 Gurkha Rifles Italy Military Cross 21 September 1944 . Recommendation for Award for Rana Lalbahadur Jemadar 25053 I.O. 2/3 Gurkha Rifles Italy Military Cross 21 September 1944
    Now my confusion arises because my relation was killed IN BURMA on 8th September 1944, in the middle of an on-going action. He was buried by his comrades around the 12th September so how on earth could his Bttn be in action in Italy 9 days later?

    I thought the 'roll of honour' which listed my relation as KIA in Italy (in the official history of 3/2 Gurkhas) was simply a clerical error. Was the Bttn split up at some earlier point? All very confusing!
     
  8. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    You are confusing the 2/3rd Gurkha Rifles in Italy with the 3/2nd Gurkha Rifles in Burma.
     
  9. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    You are confusing the 2/3rd Gurkha Rifles in Italy with the 3/2nd Gurkha Rifles in Burma.

    Oooooops, many thanks maybe I should get some new specs . . . . when I've wiped all the egg off my face!
     
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Oooooops, many thanks maybe I should get some new specs . . . . when I've wiped all the egg off my face!


    It took me a long time to get the battalion/regiment in order Binro, especially for the Gurkhas.:)
     
  11. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

  12. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    Took a look at WO 172/5015 today, it's patchy but some interesting bits on my subject, Maj Stephenson. After getting home I realised that I should have photographed it all . . . . bit mean of me to only capture the bits I was interested in! i'll know better next time!
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    2 more pages.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I have made that mistake at least twice.:)

    Hope you enjoyed your first trip to the Archives?
     
  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Something new for the 3/2 GR club. A tiny snippet of opinion from George Dunlop C/O Column 1, about moral and overall leadership on Longcloth. Highlights quite nicely some of the problems on the trip.
     

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    sol likes this.
  16. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Binro thank you for pages from war diary. Sometimes there is possible to find more details in appendices (off course if there is any).

    Thanks Steve, that's very interesting.
     
  17. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    When i went to post my pics a pop-up window said jpegs shouldn't be larger than 620 X 280ish so I shrank them smaller than I felt wise. Looking at the latest pic post I note that it is "1,156px × 1,107px (scaled to 854px × 818px)". Seems the pop-up window was misleading, I note it also said jpegs shouldn't exceed 2Mb. Any clues on what gets uploaded and what doesn't ?

    And yes, loved my fiest visit so now I'm going to try and get my head around NA's strange search and indexing system and order a sutable mountain for my next visit - anything worthwhile WILL be photographed in full!
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    When i went to post my pics a pop-up window said jpegs shouldn't be larger than 620 X 280ish so I shrank them smaller than I felt wise. Looking at the latest pic post I note that it is "1,156px × 1,107px (scaled to 854px × 818px)". Seems the pop-up window was misleading, I note it also said jpegs shouldn't exceed 2Mb. Any clues on what gets uploaded and what doesn't ?
    Hi Binro,
    Sol nudged me to have a shufti at this.
    Looking at the attachment manager made me realise the system was differentiating between '.jpeg' & '.jpg' as a file extension.
    One unlimited in pixel size, the other rather seriously restricted.

    I've removed the restriction - sorry about that!
    ~A
     
  19. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    Wow, the co-operation and help from members and admin on this site is stunning! Thank you Sol and Herr von Poop! I'll re size the pics to something a bit more legible and re-post later today as the 'edit' function has now gone and after that feel free to zap the origionals!:thankyousign:
     
  20. Binro

    Binro Junior Member

    Here they are
     

    Attached Files:

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